Title: Bury My Lovely

Author: Killaurey

Fandom: Naruto

Character: Yamanaka Ino

CD & Song: Bury My Lovely - October Project

Summary/Notes: Ino was an excellent kunoichi – which wasn't an easy thing to be. Unbeta'd. Done for Ficalbum on Livejournal. The fic is based around 'Bury My Lovely' by October Project.

Suzume-sensei had once compared teaching a kunoichi to painting a picture. You began with an outline, an idea, and then slowly added color, swirls, and patterns until you couldn't see the bare bones of what you'd started with. Like it had never existed as anything but the finished product.

A picture worth a thousand eyes.

They'd been taught, day in and out to rebuild themselves from the ground up. All to present a front to the world. The best disguise, Suzume-sensei had lectured sternly, was one that always worn. Let them see the bubble brained girl.

Not the kunoichi.

Never let them see the girl that possessed grace under pressure, eyes that saw what others missed, and a mind that constantly thought.

Some were, granted, better than others at it but all kunoichi were required to know the basics before they were allowed to attempt the graduation exam. Ino had always been good at it. Of her class she was the best.

In school, it had always been easy. The lessons on how to walk, how to talk. Current fashions, hair-styling, flower arranging, makeup, shopping. Culture, cooking, sewing, and dance. How to blend in or stand out as the situation demanded. Language, grace, emotional control. Laughter, sorrow, the right words to say to a friend in need.

To pass as an ordinary girl. To be an extraordinary girl.

It was complicated. It was hard doing it all the time.

It was the best challenge ever.

Ino never had been able to resist a challenge. After five years of classes her mask was able to hold under pressure. Even those who knew her they didn't know all of her. The best mask, Suzume-sensei had said, was one that holds bits and pieces of the truth. Nothing strengthened a lie more than a compatible bit of truth.

The cornerstone of a kunoichi was the ability to lie.

What else could her painting be called?

Just a lie. A lie worth a thousand eyes.

Let no one see the able kunoichi that lurked behind guileless blue eyes and spent most of her allowance on fripperies. If they didn't see her... that was the way it was supposed to be. Don't let them guess the amount of time spent of training or the number of jutsu's learned. If your teammates don't know what you can do, then neither can the enemy.

A picture of a thousand lies.

That's what a proper kunoichi was.

Ino was an excellent one. And if sometimes she looked in the mirror and couldn't quite remember who she really was… When the days came that she wished she could do away with the bubble headed girl, but didn't. When she hid the pain she felt and pretended everything was fine. If she worried that one day she'd wake and have lost herself…

Well, that was the price she paid to serve her village.

R&R, please.